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Weekend recap: Hobbs Kessler smashes 2-miler, Canadians compete in B.C.

The outdoor track season is well on its way, and it saw several big results this weekend

With spring finally here, outdoor track meets are popping up around North America and the rest of the world. This weekend saw several outdoor meets with big results, as well as runs at a few road races. From American high schooler Hobbs Kessler running a two-mile race in South Carolina to Canadian elites lining up to race yet another Victoria Twilight Meet, there was plenty of action this weekend in the world of running. 

Kessler’s two-miler 

Running at the USA Meet of Champions in Myrtle Beach on Saturday, Kessler, 17, continued his dominant season in a 3,200m race. Kessler made headlines earlier this year when he broke the four-minute barrier at a race in Arkansas, running 3:57.66 to break the American high school record in the event. 

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Jumping up in distance, Kessler (who has committed to run at Northern Arizona University) won the boys two-mile championship on the weekend, running 8:39.04. This is the fourth-best two-mile time in U.S. high school history, and Kessler is just the fifth American high schooler to break 8:40 in the event. He closed with an amazing 55-second final lap, extending his gap to almost 10 seconds over the second-place finisher. In case his sub-four performance didn’t catch your eye, this should convince you that Kessler is going to be a big name in the running world in the coming years. 

Semenya’s 5K 

Also on Saturday, Olympic and world 800m champion Caster Semenya competed in a 5,000m race in South Africa. She ran to a second-place finish, but it’s far off what could be considered a successful outing by her standards. Semenya, who can no longer compete in any events from the 400m up to the mile (more on that here), ran 16:14.43, finishing more than a minute slower than the Olympic standard of 15:10.00. With just a few months left until the Olympics, this is not a good sign for Semenya, and it looks like she might not qualify for the Tokyo Games.

Victoria Twilight Meet

In B.C. on Saturday, some of Canada’s top track athletes lined up for another Victoria Twilight Meet. This is the third and final twilight meet of the series, and many athletes who competed in the last event showed up to race again this weekend. In the women’s 800m, Madeleine Kelly and Melissa Bishop-Nriagu battled for the two-lap race. Kelly, the reigning Canadian 800m champion, managed to best Bishop-Nriagu by less than half a second, crossing in the line in 2:02.14. 

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In the women’s 5,000m, Natalia Hawthorn crushed the rest of the field, running 15:31.27. This time smashed her previous 5,000m PB of 16:03.09, which she ran in 2019. In the men’s 5,000m, Brennan Smith edged out World Para Athletics 1,500m champion Nate Riech for the win. Smith broke 15 minutes, crossing in 14:59.09, and Riech crossed one second later in 15:00.42. 

Two weeks ago, Lucia Stafford won the 1,500m at the second Victoria Twilight Meet, and she grabbed the victory once again on Saturday, although she ran a bit slower this time around the track, posting a winning time of 4:08.35 (compared to her previous time of 4:06.86). Lindsay Butterworth finished in second in 4:13.59, and Mariah Kelly ran to third place in 4:17.51. On the men’s side, Paralympic 1,500m silver medallist Liam Stanley grabbed the win in 4:05.27. 

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The Victoria Twilight Meet also featured wheelchair races, both of which Josh Cassidy won. Cassidy, a former Boston Marathon champion, won the 800m in 1:47.98 and the 1,500m in 3:21.68. 

For full results from the meet, click here.